Roundup of Public Pools; Splash Parks & Beaches | Greater Madison Area

The summer heat is on its way, and your kiddos are going to want to get WET! Madison offers several family-friendly spots for water play–in fact, as I was doing research for this post, I was surprised to see just how many local hot (cool??) spots there are! And the best part? Most of them either very inexpensive or completely free! Most local splash pads, pools, and beaches open Memorial Day weekend or soon after, so the time to start mapping out your summer bucket list is NOW!

LOCAL SPLASH PADS

LAKEVIEW PARK SPLASH PAD

6300 Mendota Ave, Middleton, WI

Website

This free, outdoor aquatic park filled is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. The fun, brightly colored water features will entertain kids of all ages and the interactive nature of the park will keep them entertained for hours. The Splash Pad is fully accessible and safe for any age. Open 9am–7pm daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

FITCHBURG SPLASH PAD

2930 Chapel Valley Road, Fitchburg, WI

Website

This park includes a multi-use shelter with restrooms, picnic tables, a bicycle/pedestrian path system (over a mile long), large parking areas (152 car capacity), two softball diamonds, seven soccer fields, one full-court basketball, three play equipment areas (including Kids Crossing), six lighted tennis courts, two sand volleyball courts, an area for seasonal ice skating, benches/memorial benches, and landscaping. The park also has 5 acres of tall turf grass in various areas throughout the park. Portions of the park facilitate storm water drainage, including four detention ponds, two waterways, and a green way.

DEFOREST SPLASH PAD

6822 Yellowwood Lane, DeForest, WI

Website

Located at Conservancy Commons Park, this splash pad is open from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day each year. Adjacent to a playground and a sheltered area with restrooms.

CYPRESS SPLASH PARK

902 Magnolia Lane, Madison, WI

Website

Kids can dart back and forth between the water and the adjacent Genevieve Gurst-Herfurth Memorial Park Playground. Portable toilets are available, but there are no other restroom facilities. Cypress Splash Park is staffed with a lifeguard for added safety.

Madison Parks offers three splash parks – at Cypress, Reindahl and Elver featuring spray toys and fountains for children of all ages. They are free to use and open daily 10:00am – 7:00pm typically Memorial Day Weekend and continuing, weather permitting through Labor Day weekend.

REINDAHL SPLASH PARK

1818 Portage Road, Madison, WI

Website

Reindahl Park, found on Madison’s beautiful and historic East side, is a dynamic place where you can enjoy a wide variety of activities.  Versatile recreation areas and expansive separation between playing fields make this an ideal place for anyone of any skill level. There is also a large, open grassy area equipped for an assortment of activities such as cricket or other free style sports. Although this is a sports accommodating park, with its spacious scenery it is also an exemplar place to engage in more leisurely activities. Lay out a blanket and soak up some sun, take the children to the park, or have lunch in the shelter. The large, open grassy area is also the perfect place to fly a kite or have a picnic.

Adjacent to Reindahl (Amund) Park, located off East Washington Avenue, with plenty of free parking and a shelter with restrooms.

Madison Parks offers three splash parks – at Cypress, Reindahl and Elver featuring spray toys and fountains for children of all ages. They are free to use and open daily 10:00am – 7:00pm typically Memorial Day Weekend and continuing, weather permitting through Labor Day weekend.

ELVER SPLASH PARK

1250 McKenna Blvd, Madison, WI

Website

The largest community park in Madison Parks, Elver Park spans an impressive 250 acres in the southwest corner of the city.  Here, you’ll find a variety of recreational features offered throughout the year.  During the summer, the disc golf course becomes the park’s most unique feature, but the softball diamonds, soccer fields, and reservable shelters are all very popular. 

Madison Parks offers three splash parks – at Cypress, Reindahl and Elver featuring spray toys and fountains for children of all ages. They are free to use and open daily 10:00am – 7:00pm typically Memorial Day Weekend and continuing, weather permitting through Labor Day weekend.

CRADLE HILL SPLASH PAD

4084 Mueller Road, DeForest, WI

Website

The Cradle Hill splash pad located at 4361 Cradle Hill Drive (Holland Fields subdivision) is an exciting addition to our Windsor park system.  This free outdoor aquatic park, filled with fun water features, is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.  The brightly colored water features appeal to kids of all ages, and the interactive nature of the park keeps kids entertained.

The splash pad is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

PUBLIC POOLS

Madison has some fantastic public pools, with fun features for all ages. We dare you to try them all this summer!

Goodman Pool (Madison city pool)

Includes 2 waterslides, an 8 lane 25-meter lap area with diving boards, a zero-depth entrance, and several fountains and other shallow water play features for preschool children. The pool area is complete with a sand play area, concessions, changing rooms, deck chairs, umbrella tables and shade structures, plus ample restrooms and parking. Located between Park Street and John Nolen Drive.


Sun Prairie Aquatic Center

Features include:

  • Zero-depth entrance
  • Water spray features
  • 210 foot water slide
  • 2 kiddie slides
  • 18 foot drop slide
  • Diving boards
  • Water basketball
  • 8 lane competitive swimming area
  • Sand playground
  • Concession stand
  • Indoor sun shelters
  • Outdoor picnic shelters
  • Bathhouse
  • Coin-operated lockers

Blue Mound State Park Pool

Newly renovated in 2015! Enjoy a heated pool with a minimum depth of 3 feet and a maximum depth of 4 feet, plus an outdoor themed splash pad, featuring a tent, trees, and a campfire.

The attached bathhouse includes changing rooms, coin-operated lockers, toilets and showers.


Monona Community Pool

The Monona Community Pool is a 300,000-gallon outdoor pool with a water slide, two diving boards, eight 25-meter lap lanes, a shallow end, a wading pool and a concession stand. We are proud to offer a safe, affordable swimming experience. Look no further than the Monona Community Pool for a summer of cool, refreshing fun!


Mount Horeb Aquatic Center​ 

The Aquatic Center features a 35 meter pool, zero depth baby pool, water slide, wet sand play area, and grass decks for your swimming enjoyment.


Bauman Aquatic Center

The Walter R. Bauman Aquatic Center is an outdoor facility, featuring the latest in aquatic amenities. The facility includes zero-depth pool entrance, an eight lane competition pool, as well as a diving well. Other attractions at the center include two 134-foot run waterslides, interactive water play equipment, sand playground, and a concession area. The center has 11,510 square feet of water surface, holds 345,580 gallons of water, and has a patron capacity of 724 people. The Aquatic Center opens the second weekend in June and closes the last weekend in August.


Cross Plains Swimming Pool


Goodman Aquatic Center

A hidden gem! Goodman Aquatic Center (not to be confused with Goodman Pool!) is located at 7762 County Highway PD, just 15 minutes from downtown Madison.

Includes six 25-meter lanes, zero-depth entry, and a kiddie water feature. Poolside, you’ll find a large shaded area, lots of deck chairs, and concessions available daily.

This pool has a saltwater generator, making it better for the environment and for swimmers. With this generator, the pool can use salt as a sanitizing agent, instead of relying on large amounts of liquid chlorine. The Goodman Aquatic Center also uses large solar panels to help heat the pool water.

LOCAL BEACHES

When you think of Madison, you might not immediately think “BEACHES!” But we actually have several beautiful lakeshore spots in the area, perfect for sandcastle-building and “real water” swimming!

Madison offers 4 regional beaches and 6 neighborhood beaches, all of which are staffed by lifeguards during certain hours in the summer. Generally, lifeguards are on duty from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM, mid-June through the end of August, but please check the beach website for any changes to that schedule.

Oh, and of course, all of our beaches are completely FREE!

Regional beaches:

Vilas Park Beach, 702 S. Randall St. (next to the zoo)

Olbrich Beach, 3527 Atwood Ave.

Tenney Beach, 1414 E. Johnson St.

B.B. Clarke Beach, 835 Spaight St. (just off Williamson Street)

Neighborhood beaches:

  • Bernies Beach, 901 Gilson St.
  • Esther Beach, 2802 Waunona Way
  • James Madison Park Beach, 614 E. Gorham St.
  • Olin Park Beach, 1156 Olin-Turville Ct.
  • Spring Harbor Beach, 1918 Norman Way
  • Warner Park Beach, 1101 Woodward Dr.

You can find all the details on Madison beaches HERE!

P.S. What about waterparks?? When we Madisonians hear that word, many of us automatically think of Wisconsin Dells. But don’t forget that there’s an awesome outdoor waterpark right here in Dane County – check out Dolphin’s Cove! (At the Prairie Athletic Club in Sun Prairie.)

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